Weekly Pro Wrestling Rankings June 8
June 8, 2018
By: Mike Johnson
Every week here at FITE, we feature the Top Ten ranked personalities in the world of professional wrestling. Unlike other combat sports, pro wrestling cannot be measured in just wins and losses, especially when the drama and excitement of the genre is specifically based around not just the physical performance, but the excitement level created by its combatants. Thus, our top ten measures the most newsworthy performers in the business, who's momentum drives not just their own career paths but the promotions they compete for.
1. Braun Strowman
As WWE continues to power towards the Money in the Bank PPV, the focal point of the WWE roster continues to be Braun Strowman. Whether it be smashing ladders into two or powerslamming opponents (including Bobby Roode this week), “The Monster Among Men” has all the gravitational pull of a black hole. Everything that WWE has strategized creatively for their Money in the Bank Ladder match has revolved around not whether the “Monster Among Men” will emerge with the contract for a guaranteed championship match against Brock Lesnar, but how everyone else competing is going to deal with Strowman. Everything flows through the Monster right now.
2. CM Punk
Only in the world of professional wrestling can someone who hasn’t wrestled since 2014 end up one of the most newsworthy personalities in the entire combat sports world. The always outspoken Punk scored a TKO over WWE Doctor Chris Amann in court this week, choking out allegations that he had defamed Amann during the now-infamous Thanksgiving 2014 edition of the Art of the Wrestling podcast. For Punk, this was the first time since his relationship with WWE ended that there wasn’t some lasting shadow from that time period looming over him. The court victory scored lots of mainstream attention and if that wasn’t enough to capture the imagination of the world at large, Punk steps back into the Octagon for UFC this Saturday in his hometown. The future is wide open for the former WWE Champion. For all we know, he could even return to the ring, but this week, he’s a champion of the court.
3. Seth Rollins
Had WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins been positioned to have yet another great in-ring singles performance on Monday Night Raw, he would have easily had once again remained the king of the FITE rankings. While Rollins was announced as main eventing the WWE return to Madison Square Garden next month and had strong appearances at the company’s live events, his tag team bout on Raw failed to hit the same marks as his singles bout in recent weeks. No fault of his own, but certainly, not enough to overcome to media onslaught of CM Punk and the sheer magnitude of attention the WWE prism shined down upon Braun Strowman.
Kenny Omega’s series of bouts against Kazuchika Okada have begun the stuff of legend, the 21st century equivalent of the Ric Flair-Ricky Steamboat rivalry. With the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at stake, Omega will once again face off with his top rival this Saturday in Osaka at the 2018 Dominion event. With a rivalry that has already pushed the boundaries of physical pro wrestling and creative spirit in this unique genre, the platform of a two out of three falls bout has fans and observers alike salivating over the potential. Just like that, Omega returns to the FITE rankings like a bullet, one that is aimed at the top of the charts. The Okada bout will tell the tale as to whether he rises.
5. Roman Reigns
Returning to television this week on WWE’s Monday Night Raw, Reigns brought some great physical action to his battle against Jinder Mahal and Elias, previewing his singles bout against Mahal at the Money in the Bank PPV event in Chicago. While he disappeared last week due to not competing, it was a pause that did Reigns some good, allowing him to appear fresher to the audience as he was primed for a much larger role in the weeks to come.
Ladies and gentlemen, a star in the making. In recent weeks, the guitar-slinging star has taken great strides into the WWE main event scene, destroying Seth Rollins with his six-stringer last week and pinning the Intercontinental Champion this week on Monday Night Raw. Elias has morphed into one of the best utility players on the Raw roster, bringing the crowd into everything that he does, looking strong inside the ring and presenting a throwback villainous persona in the process. It’s a matter of when, not if, he is crooning from the top of the FITE rankings.
7. Johnny Gargano
When the history book is written of every great hero in professional wrestling, Gargano should be tapped to write the foreword. His continues success in the WWE NXT brand as the underdog, every man hero fighting for revenge against his former best friend Tomasso Ciampa continues to electrify as the absolute best story-telling in professional wrestling. Whether it be live events, televised bouts or interviews, Gargano has left a permanent mark on heroism in professional wrestling and a bar that will be incredibly hard to top. In a world where everything has been exposed, Gargano makes one believe, a skill that allows him to breathe the most rarified air a professional wrestler can enjoy in the 21st century.
8. Kazuchika Okada
The longest running IWGP Heavyweight Champion in history is facing one of his two greatest foes this weekend in Kenny Omega. Okada has been the nucleus of New Japan Pro Wrestling for many, many years, but could he be facing the inevitable fall this Saturday in Osaka? That factor alone has led to not only great concern about his championship reign but what he may do in order to protect his position as the “Ace” of New Japan. When one considers the level of excellence Okada brings to the ring every night, the mind is blown by what may take place at Dominion when his back is against the wall in a Best of Three Falls encounter.
9. Shawn Michaels
What an odd week this is for the professional wrestling world. First CM Punk arrives near the top of the rankings and now, Shawn Michaels creates a frenzy of excitement and havoc with his admission that, given the right circumstances, he would be interested in returning to perform inside the ring. Dizzily, the Internet was overcome with dream match possibilities, followed by dissections and arguments on whether the bouts should take place. Without even lacing up the boots, Michaels still superkicked the wrestling scene. That’s magic.
10. Colt Cabana
In the eyes of many, the ultimate independent professional wrestler, Cabana was tasked with facing the possibility that everything he had worked for in his entire life was about to be destroyed and handed over via monetary damages to Dr. Chris Amann. When a jury of his peers ruled in his favor, Cabana did what he does best, he opened a window into his life via his podcast, recording a daily rundown of what he was feeling throughout the entire process and the physical toll it took on his body and spirit. In a world designed to accentuate toughness, Cabana went the opposite route and in doing so, endeared him to an entire population of fans across the world. Factor in his involvement with Bully Ray in Ring of Honor over the weekend in New York City and his endless procession of appearances around the world, it’s hard not to be impressed and impossible to underrate one of Chicago’s favorite sons.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com .